Friday, May 31, 2002

Today I put a cgi guestbook on the Happy Camp News website. I am so excited about it, because this is the first time I did a cgi script and got it to work right. Before, I always used Dreambook and services like it - like the guestbook I have on this site. Well, this opens a whole new world for me. I'm going to put the same guestbook script on the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce website!

My project-du-jour... well, before I get to that I want you to know I worked on the Chamber of Commerce site for a while today. I'm getting the community information page in order as I expect the site to launch within the next week or two at the most.

This evening I let my creativity go free... you know, I just have to spend time using my right brain... so this is what I did. It is a website for publishing my songs to the web.

Lifesong Press

The name "Lifesong Press" is one I've used for many years, for copyright of my music.

God bless and good night.

Thursday, May 30, 2002

Minimalist Daughter and a Broken Window

May is nearly gone. Just tomorrow is left then May 2002 will be no more.

We've been cleaning the house today. My daughter gave me two bookcases from her bedroom and I put them here in my dining room which is really more of a computer room and study. I straightened up in here, moving books into the new bookcases, while Keith and Aaron worked in the living room, moving the furniture around and washing the walls. We are planning on washing all the carpets within the next couple of days.

My daughter has developed a need for cleanliness and lots of empty space. In the last year she has gone from having the most unbelievably cluttered room, to having the emptiest room. Very annoying, when you consider that she cannot even stand for me to store a few boxes in the top of her closet now.

Well, it finally happened. Aaron and my daughter were roughhousing in the living room and a window got cracked because of their disturbing activity. How many times have I sat here and worried about that happening? Well I guess they just wouldn't believe me so finally it happened. Now I have one more window to replace. I have two others cracked right now. I don't much care for replacing windows but it has to be done. Last time I did it myself. It takes hours.

I am getting old. I'm going to be fifty in about six weeks. I need a nap. My daughter just got home from her ballet class. In two more weeks they're having a performance for the families.

Wednesday, May 29, 2002

I've been a little depressed recently. I don't know why... it comes and goes. I've heard so many sad stories in email. I'm considering taking a one week 'away from email' vacation. If you don't hear from me that is probably why. It isn't just that I need to get away from email, but I need to stop reading for a while. This is not my idea - it is something I'm supposed to be doing as part of my Artists' Way group... one week of reading deprivation. Maybe my depression is related to that need. At least I've kept up with my morning pages (three pages of writing daily)... I don't always do them in the morning but I have been getting my writing done.

Things that can contribute to depression are not enough water and not enough exercise. I should be taking better care of myself, perhaps. I'd like to get back to walking every other day like Keith and I used to do together when we first moved here. After my hysterectomy last year... well - just before then and certainly afterwards, my ability to walk failed... I was so anemic from blood loss. I'm recovered from that now and feeling better than ever... except that I really need to regain my dedication to exercise.

Tonight I did a little poetic graphic:

There's a Reason...

Happy Camp was overcast with clouds tonight as I drove through town, but there was so much beauty in the dark skies above the green of the hillsides. It was an inspiring sight despite what some might see as bad weather. I enjoyed the little rainstorms we had today... well... I should say slight sprinklings, not rainstorms, really.

Socks got bitten by a big insect today. The kids said it was a monster sized insect, and that Socks ended its brief existence after being bitten by it. It left a terrible hole in him. Really scary looking. The kids are going to show me what's left of the large insect tomorrow. They claim this is about 3 inches long and they saw another big one a couple of years ago when their aunt was here.

A caseworker posted to the message board of my Fight CPS website yesterday and really irked me so I exchanged a few messages with him today. See first posting from "huskerfan"... he's the one. Or is he a she? So many insulting things were coming out of his mind, I felt that mother-bear protective instinct to rush to the defense of all hurting CPS victims out there, so he got what he got. I wonder if he'll be back after today. I really don't need my claws sharpened anymore, but if he insists, I will take the opportunity.

In contrast there's a CPS caseworker on another message board who we've known online for over a year. He has sparred with us so many times, now his philosophy is becoming more like ours by the minute. Today he posted saying all fosterers should quit, in order to reform the system by shutting it down. Awesome! I could have written that myself!

Monday, May 27, 2002

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

Teen Foster Child in SF Turned to Prostitution

I had such a quiet day today. Just what I needed. I stayed home all day except for taking my daughter to her hiphop dance class and picking her up afterward.

I spent a lot of the day researching news about child welfare. San Francisco's Examiner has a really depressing series this week about a girl who was in state custody who became a prostitute. She was living with her mom in SF when that started, and when mom found out she took her daughter to another town where they were staying temporarily in an old hotel. Child welfare workers didn't think that was good enough, so they took the girl from her mom and took her back to SF. There, the girl ran away from the fosterincarcerators and entered the prostitution world full time, at the age of 13.

She was refused re-entry into a foster custody situation after six months. Whenever the police picked her up for prostitution, nobody ever bothered to call her mother. Instead the police just dropped her back off at the dept. of human services, and she would walk in the door, out the back door, and go back to her pimp.

This is all sick enough but at age 15 she was found dead in a lake... that's why she's being written about in the paper. The paper is accusing the city and social service meddlers of being responsible for her death as much as the actual murderer, who got away with it. I agree - they made a good call on that. So anyhow, I went through a terrible depression over that this afternoon. ::sigh::

Okay... so then I had to rest in bed for a while to get over it. Now I'm up again and listening to an old Art Bell show from 1997, about Atlantis. I decided to make another graphic..... this one is called, "Something's Missing."

Keith likes this one...... he said it would make a great CD cover. My daughter prefers a different one.... strange... well, the graphic she likes (Pink World) is really too strange for me. My favorite from this week is Leaves.... I made that one into this week's desktop wallpaper, and when I get ready to put up my design website, I'll be putting my wallpaper online for free use. That's the plan.

End of EMT Class, Art, Sleep, and Plans for Tomorrow

Well. Tonight was my last EMT class and I am so happy about that. The final is in a few days. Maybe now I can start going back to that great writer's critique group I was participating in on AOL... on Tuesday nights. I feel like such a fool for admitting I still have an AOL account! ...But I love their writer's section... especially the chats which are so very helpful! Also it is where I chat in IMail with my mom, my daughter Simoné, and my son Joshua, who maintains AIM, not AOL... but still it works to keep in touch. Oh, also Garrison is there. LOL.............. an old friend I like to chat with sometimes.

Anyhow, I created more art tonight. Just something to work off some energy................

[Commenting on the art, which has been lost in the bit bucket of time]
I've had something like this in my mind for years... since I had a vision of it one night long ago. This world is different... the original version wasn't pink and didn't have green citizens. For your information... like anyone cares. Oh well.......... I care... it means something to me.

Well, upward and onward.......... it is midnight and I want my children to disappear into slumberland for the next 8 hours.......... and then I will sleep too.

I'm glad to see that Aaron has been doing some artwork tonight. I have noticed since he was very small his artwork is especially eye-catching, and I've wanted to encourage that as much as possible. I've considered enrolling him in one of the community college painting classes.

Tomorrow is Wednesday, and I know I'm supposed to be at the Chamber of Commerce meeting... they will want people there to discuss the Canoe & Kayak Family Fun Festival on the Klamath River this weekend. After tonight's EMT class I just want to take a shower and sleep. I was a victim in class tonight -- but so was everyone else. We were pretend victims for each other to practice on. I got picked up off the floor and strapped onto a backboard, had my leg put in traction, that kind of stuff. After all that, no wonder my writing is disjointed tonight...............

Enough of this... for now.

Saturday, May 18, 2002

Journaling Ideas and Books

I've been keeping journals for about thirty years (on and off) and now am doing daily morning pages. My journal-life changes like the weather, so I've done a lot of different types of journaling. Today I took a day for reading about journaling (between bouts of EMT class study)... Here's part of what I came up with:

"The unexamined life is not worth living for man." - Plato, attributed to Socrates

Journaling ideas: journal in candlelight, write "unsent letters" to those who get your pen going the most, shoot a roll of film and then write captions for each of the pictures, put journal ideas in a jar and choose one each day, include sketches in your journal and journal entries in your sketchbook... (yes, I have a sketchbook too)...

Reading list for journaling:

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

Dorothy Wordsworth's Illustrated Lakeland Journals

Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth - Open the Door to Self-Understanding by Writing, Reading, and Creating a Journal of Your Life, by Kathleen Adams

The New Diary by Tristine Rainer

The Journal CEO Magazine: A Personal Journaling Magazine

Shelie Bender's Keeping a Journal You Love

Also, check this out: Live Your Dream

Friday, May 17, 2002

Studying to be an EMT-B

I'm so glad it is only one more week until the EMT certification exam. The anticipation bothers me. I went to the two 8-hour observations this last week - first 8 hours observing a Yreka ambulance crew, and then 8 hours observation in the Fairchild emergency room. I learned a lot in the ER but enjoyed my day on the ambulance a lot more. The ER was boring in comparison, but they gave me lots of opportunities to do vital signs and I got much better at it.

If I pass the certification exam, I'll be an EMT-B which is the lowest EMT position (under EMT-II and Paramedic). I hope to be able to help the Happy Camp ambulance service, which won't keep me busy all the time but what would Happy Camp be without it? I'm sure everyone out here appreciates that there's an ambulance crew to help them if they get hurt or sick.

Today and last night I made a poster/graphic thing ... just to exercise my creativity. It is a response to how I feel about coming home to Happy Camp from Yreka (like I did yesterday) and also how I love this little town. I'm still working on The Artists Way... it inspires me to do things like this. When I started the 12 week course this time I expected it to help with my writing but I find myself drawn to graphics and drawing and nature sculpture.

Saturday, May 04, 2002

Vehicle Extrication

This weekend I'm taking part in a Vehicle Extrication class. What's THAT? Yes, everyone is asking me. It is a class to tear apart vehicles to rescue accident victims. I'm taking an EMT-B class this semester and my instructor suggested this.

As part of this class I got to break two car windows and used the infamous "Jaws of Life" to cut a steering wheel into history.